Beer Bread

July 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

This is an old recipe from when I was a kid.  If memory serves me correctly, my aunt Norma Jean was the first person to bring this recipe into the family.  If my memory isn’t exactly right, I’m sure my mom will let me know.  Anyhow, we loved the bread so much that my mom started making it and so the recipe chain began.  This bread was my first taste of beer and apparently I like it…a lot (and still do).  Beer bread was on my favorites list back then and still is to this day. 

I absolutely love the crispy edge of this bread (which is from the butter).  I could just eat the edges!  But the truth is that when it comes out of oven, I want to eat the whole loaf not just a slice.  Slightly warm with butter is my preferred way of consumption.  This bread also goes really well paired up with meat loaf.   Yes, I said the word – meat loaf!  Anyhow, now I’m getting hungry.  Good thing I have a whole loaf of beer bread to eat!   Should be gone by morning. 

The original beer bread recipe that had been passed down to me called for self-rising flour.  I typically don’t buy this type of flour, so this recipe has been modified using all-purpose flour.  The key to this bread turning out perfect is to sift the flour.  Don’t leave this step out otherwise you’ll unintentionally bake up a brick.  I’ve actually forgotten this step before only to bake up something that should be part of my homes foundation.  Not good.  So please remember to sift. 

Beer Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (must sift)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 – 12 oz bottle of beer, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease loaf pan with butter.  In a medium size bowl,  SIFT together the dry ingredients.  Add beer and mix together.  Pour into loaf pan.  Pour the melted butter over the top.  Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, depending on oven and whether you are using a glass or metal pan.  Metal pans take less time to bake.  When done, the top will be a nice golden brown.  Let cool for about 15 minutes on wire rack.  Slice. Butter. Eat!

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Peach Crisp

July 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

Peaches are a family favorite.  We eat them any which way, but absolutely love them as a dessert.  This peach crisp is always high on our list of desserts.

As you may already know, I don’t like to cook complicated food.  I like it to have tons of flavor but be easy to make.  Real food for real families.  Cooking should be simple but delicious.  This recipe works for all those reasons. 

Peach Crisp

Filling

  • 4  peaches –  pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour

 Topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter – cubed and cold

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, mix sliced peaches, sugar and cinnamon together.  Put peaches into greased 2 qt baking dish.  Combine oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together.  Mix in cold butter with hands.  When the mixture reaches a course crumble, sprinkle over peaches in dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve warm or cold with vanilla ice cream.  YUM!

Note: You can use either white or yellow peaches.  I used white peaches this time around.

Pomegranate Mojito

July 10, 2011 § 5 Comments

Pomegranate Mojito

You know it is happy hour at our house when the pomegranate mojitos come out.  I’ve made this recipe for the last few years.  Most recently, I made this drink and took it to a 4th of July block party.  It was gone before I could get a second one.

Most mojito’s are made by crushing the mint leaves in the glass.  This is actually made by creating a mint simple syrup.  This is the key to this recipe and on a good note…you won’t be walking around with mint leaves in your teeth.

Mint Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups of fine granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 40 mint leaves

Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat until sugar has completely dissolved.  Let sit on stove top for about 20 minutes until syrup has cooled.  Strain into a container.  Chill.  Will last a few weeks in fridge.

Pomegranate Mojito

  • 2 cups simple syrup
  • 4 cups rum
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 ltr club soda

Combine all the ingredients above into pitcher or punch bowl.  Add ice.  Serve garnished with mint sprigs or lime slices and…Let the party begin.

Lemon Pasta Salad with Tomato and Basil

July 4, 2011 § 3 Comments

Headed to a potluck, block party or picnic?  This pasta salad is great for just that occasion because it won’t spoil in the heat.  This is super quick and easy to make.  You can whip this up in just about 30 minutes or so.

Lemon Pasta with Tomato and Basil

  • 10 oz. dried spiral pasta
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Bring water to a boil in large pot.  Cook pasta for about 8 minutes.   While pasta is cooking, mix together lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.  Drain pasta.  Pour dressing over pasta and chill for 20 minutes or so in fridge.  Meanwhile, cut tomatoes into quarters and chop basil. Set aside.   After pasta has cooled, add the tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese.  Toss to coat.  Serve.

Update 7/4/2012 – Optional change: Made this once again for Independence Day block party.  I substituted the parmesan cheese for fresh mozzarella.  It was like a caprese pasta salad.  YUM!

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